The Best Stand Mixer Models, According to Our Test Kitchen Team
Bakers, do you have the best stand mixer on your counter? Check out what our pros had to say about the most popular mixer models on the market.
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Searching for the Best Stand Mixer
Whether you’re a cookie baker, bread enthusiast or cake fanatic, there’s no doubt that a stand mixer is an invaluable tool. With the best stand mixer on your countertop, stirring up batters and doughs—not to mention frostings and meringues—is a cinch.
Now, we know that KitchenAid is many bakers’ go-to model, but our Test Kitchen pros wanted to see if this option really is the very best stand mixer. To find out, our team put nine stand mixers to the test in our Taste of Home kitchens.
How We Tested Stand Mixers
So what does it mean to test at Taste of Home? It means that our squad of expert bakers, led by Sarah Tramonte for this test, put each stand mixer through its paces; trying all the speeds, using every attachment and putting these countertop appliances to good use by stirring up recipes submitted by our readers (submit your best recipes!).
Our testing squad took careful notes of how each model performed in the following categories:
- Beating: Stand mixers are the go-to tool for beating together cake batters and cookie dough. The Test Kitchen stirred up plenty of these recipes to see how each stand mixer performed.
- Whipping: Our Test Kitchen staff judged how well each mixer whisked cream into homemade whipped cream and egg whites into stiff peaks using each mixer’s whisk attachment.
- Kneading: Save yourself a lot of effort and use your mixer to knead bread. Our team checked to see if each mixer was up to this tough task.
- Features: Mixers come with all sorts of extras, from dough hooks to splatter guards. Any extra attachments or added features should make time in the kitchen more enjoyable, not more complicated.
- Cleanup: Stand mixers see a lot of action and can get dirty fast. Our team made note of easy-to-clean parts. (Bonus points if attachments are dishwasher-safe!). We also took our tips for how to clean a stand mixer and put them to use during this test.
- Price: Stand mixers are one of the more expensive countertop appliances. Our pros test products to make sure you get your money’s worth.
Stand Mixer with the Best Features
Breville the Bakery Chef Stand Mixer
Home bakers, it’s time to expand your collection of Breville appliances. The brand, which makes one of our Test Kitchen’s favorite hand mixers, also makes one of the best stand mixers we’ve tried: the Breville the Bakery Chef Stand Mixer.
Much like its hand mixer, this Breville stand mixer has an array of useful features that we never knew we needed but now don’t know how we lived without. An “immediate standout,” according to Sarah is the light that illuminates the bowl. This allows you to get a good look at the texture of your buttercream as it grows smoother and smoother.
Another worthwhile feature is the timer. Set the dial and the mixer will beat your ingredients for the allotted time. This is ideal for creaming butter and sugar, which can be a lengthy process—up to seven minutes! It also helps prevent over-whipping ingredients. With a set endpoint, you can walk away from your bowl of cream and not have to worry about it churning into butter.
On top of all these extras, this mixer does all that you’d expect of a great stand mixer. The controls are intuitive and our team easily stirred up all kinds of recipes from chocolate cakes to chocolate chip cookies to chocolate babka.
- 5-quart bowl
- 12 speed settings
- Light brightens the inside of bowl while in use
- Built-in timer with shut-off option
- Includes glass bowl, whisk, paddle, dough hook, pour shield and bowl cover
- Bowl light allows you to see your ingredients better than ever
- Timer allows you to step away from the bowl if needed
- Attractive design available in several finishes
- Can be loud when used on the highest settings
Most Versatile Stand Mixer
KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer
Before we get into all the extras, let’s talk about how well this mixer performs right out of the box. KitchenAid’s flagship stand mixer is so easy to use. Fit the bowl and the attachment of your choice into place and get ready to mix up batch after batch of easy drop cookies. And you don’t need to stop there: Attach the whisk and this mixer turns egg whites into meringue in a flash.
One of the best uses for this stand mixer, though, is for kneading bread dough. With the included dough hook attachment, you can knead dough right in the mixer in less than half the time it would take you to knead by hand.
Once you see what a joy it is to use this machine with the included fittings, it’s easy to see why many home cooks and bakers invest in KitchenAid’s many attachments. Extras like the vegetable peeler make quick work of spiralizing veggies and peeling apples. You can also use the power of the mixer’s motor with the pasta maker attachment (read our review for the full scoop) for faster pasta right at home
The only critique our pros have of this mixer is that you may have to adjust the height of the mixer’s tilt head when whisking a single egg white or a very small amount of ingredients. Fortunately, this is an easy tweak; here’s how to adjust your KitchenAid mixer. (P.S. We recommend this Blossom KitchenAid Stand Mixer, too.)
- 5-quart bowl
- 10 speeds
- Includes whisk, dough hook and paddle attachments as well as a splatter shield
- Many additional KitchenAid accessories are available
- Available in many vivid colors to match any kitchen or personality; there’s even a Joanna Gaines KitchenAid mixer!
- Easy to use
- Head may require a little adjusting so the beater scrapes the bottom of the bowl
Best Heavy-Duty Stand Mixer
Wolf Gourmet High-Performance Stand Mixer
If your kitchen runs more like a corner bakery, our team recommends the Wolf Gourmet High-Performance Stand Mixer. This is a seriously heavy-duty machine that can tackle recipe after recipe with ease. In the words of Sarah, “This is great for someone who bakes constantly and needs something that will definitely stand up to anything.”
To start, there’s no beating the capacity of this Wolf stand mixer. It’s fitted with a giant seven-quart bowl—plenty big for stirring up large loaves of bread (these yeasted coffee cakes come to mind).
And when it comes to these large batches—be it cupcakes, cookies or buns—this stand mixer blends with ease. The powerful 500-watt motor “handles chunky cookie dough and kneading bread dough with complete ease,” according to Sarah.
A feature our team really loves is how the mixer starts slowly. No matter the setting, the mixer will churn a few times at a slow speed before ramping up. This helps prevent ingredients from splattering all over or puffing up in your face (we’ve all fallen victim to a flour-y mess with our mixers). While it may seem like a minor feature, it’s one that serious bakers will appreciate.
The only drawback to this machine is the price tag. However, you can take comfort in knowing that this mixer is designed to be put to the test. It’s as close to a commercial stand mixer as you can find without visiting a restaurant supply store.
- 7-quart bowl
- 10 speed options
- Pulse setting
- Includes a whisk, dough hook and flat beater attachment as well as a splatter shield
- Accommodates large batches
- Very easy to use
- Dishwasher-safe attachments
- Heavy—this mixer weighs 29 pounds
- Pricier than most mixers on the market
Best Stand Mixer for Beginner Bakers
Beautiful Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
While expert home bakers may not mind splurging on a top-of-the-line mixer, we know that those appliances aren’t for everyone. If you ask us, you can get a great stand mixer for about $130: the Beautiful Tilt-Head Stand Mixer.
Despite being a lightweight machine, this Beautiful stand mixer is ready for any task you throw its way. This mixer whipped cream and created airy egg whites with ease and remarkable speed. Cookie dough was also no problem for this mixer, though Sarah recommends scraping down the sides of the bowl a bit more frequently with this model.
Because this stand mixer is light, make sure that it’s suctioned firmly to your work surface before tackling serious tasks like kneading bread dough or stirring up a stiffer cookie dough (something like gingerbread or monster cookies with lots of mix-ins).
Sarah sums up the Test Kitchen’s experience with this mixer like this, “It’s great for a beginner baker or college student. It’s affordable and gets the job done.”
This Walmart-exclusive brand consistently performs well in our tests; Beautiful makes one of the best air fryers, best blenders and best electric griddles. Here’s a complete list of what we think are the best Beautiful by Drew Barrymore kitchen items.
- 5.3-quart bowl
- 12 speed settings
- Includes balloon whisk, dough hook and flat beater attachments in addition to a splatter guard
- Suctioned base holds mixer in place
- Dishwasher-safe attachments
- Available in attractive, trendy colors like cornflower and cream
- Lightweight construction means this isn’t the ideal machine for heavy-duty baking
Check Out More Test Kitchen-Preferred Products
Stand mixers are just the tip of the testing iceberg! Our Test Kitchen is constantly testing kitchen gadgets, cleaning gear and delicious food, looking for brands that deserve the right to be called Test-Kitchen Preferred.
If you’re looking to outfit your kitchen with a few new items, be sure to check out these tests: